I like the way cables look, I just hate knitting them. I have also hated twisted stitches for much the same reason. Just about every book tells you to use a cable needle. Yeah, sure, it’s oodles of fun to slip one stitch and hold in back, purl one stitch, then knit the one on the cable needle. And do this fifty times each round. No, thank you! All this interrupts the rhythm of knitting and makes me crazy and impatient. As far as I am concerned, no project is worth this. A cabled hat is about as far as I will go – never, ever a cabled sweater.
I’ve known for some time that the twisted stitches of my childhood do not require a cable needle for every other stitch. You can knit or purl into the second stitch, then knit or purl into the first stitch, and then remove them together. That is so easy. No cable needles! Shifting stitches back and forth is not a big deal either – it is that pesky cable needle.
I’ve developed my own ways to do cables without a needle, but none have been especially satisfactory. So, in a fit of pique, I decided to check out YouTube yet again! And here are a few videos on cabling without needles.
This first one is filmed in windy North Dakota, so the sound is not the best, but her technique is very good, and the video is very clear. Notice that Adorabubbleknits knits a few of her stitches before dropping them off and picking them up.
Here you will see Wendy (of Wendy Knits) does all the transferring before knitting her stitches.
Either way, that damned cable needle has been eliminated. I just may try a complicated cable pattern (a very small one) project this way.